Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., center, is joined by, from left, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., and Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., as he hosts a news conference with a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers who are demanding the U.S. government should be required to seek warrants if it wants to search for information about Americans and insist on reforms to the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017 to protect Americans’ rights, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

 

In a party with an epidemic of virtue signaling and hand-wringing, it had to happen. The first GOP representative has called for the impeachment of President Trump. It didn’t take a lot of energy to figure this out, did it?

Here are my principal conclusions:
1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report.
2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.
3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances.
4. Few members of Congress have read the report.

I offer these conclusions only after having read Mueller’s redacted report carefully and completely, having read or watched pertinent statements and testimony, and having discussed this matter with my staff, who thoroughly reviewed materials and provided me with further analysis.

In comparing Barr’s principal conclusions, congressional testimony, and other statements to Mueller’s report, it is clear that Barr intended to mislead the public about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s analysis and findings.

Barr’s misrepresentations are significant but often subtle, frequently taking the form of sleight-of-hand qualifications or logical fallacies, which he hopes people will not notice.
Under our Constitution, the president “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” While “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” is not defined, the context implies conduct that violates the public trust.

Contrary to Barr’s portrayal, Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment.
In fact, Mueller’s report identifies multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice, and undoubtedly any person who is not the president of the United States would be indicted based on such evidence.

Impeachment, which is a special form of indictment, does not even require probable cause that a crime (e.g., obstruction of justice) has been committed; it simply requires a finding that an official has engaged in careless, abusive, corrupt, or otherwise dishonorable conduct.

While impeachment should be undertaken only in extraordinary circumstances, the risk we face in an environment of extreme partisanship is not that Congress will employ it as a remedy too often but rather that Congress will employ it so rarely that it cannot deter misconduct.

Our system of checks and balances relies on each branch’s jealously guarding its powers and upholding its duties under our Constitution. When loyalty to a political party or to an individual trumps loyalty to the Constitution, the Rule of Law—the foundation of liberty—crumbles.

We’ve witnessed members of Congress from both parties shift their views 180 degrees—on the importance of character, on the principles of obstruction of justice—depending on whether they’re discussing Bill Clinton or Donald Trump.

Few members of Congress even read Mueller’s report; their minds were made up based on partisan affiliation—and it showed, with representatives and senators from both parties issuing definitive statements on the 448-page report’s conclusions within just hours of its release.

America’s institutions depend on officials to uphold both the rules and spirit of our constitutional system even when to do so is personally inconvenient or yields a politically unfavorable outcome. Our Constitution is brilliant and awesome; it deserves a government to match it.

This is quintessential Amash. It is mildly dishonest. It is suffused with his superior character. It is unpleasant. It is attention whoring. Did I say attention whoring?

He is frequently the only Republican to kowtow to the Democrats on some bizarre proposition and then lectures the rest of us about how pure he is and how eaten up we are by partisanship. For instance:

House Democrats–And One Republican–Vote To Affirm The Right Of Illegals To Vote In Federal Elections

Republican Rep. Justin Amash Joins Dems In Blocking Emergency Declaration

His characterization of Barr’s report is simply a cheap shot taken at Barr to curry favor with the Bulwark gang…I’m sure they’ll have a smallish statue erected in his honor in Bill Kristol’s front yard or something. The fact that Amash could say this about Barr’s report indicates that he’s really one of those guys who had decided what they were going to do and he’s simply withheld his opinion to create the illusion of deep, possibly monastic, contemplation. As to the “anyone else would have been indicted” argument, this is just a Democrat talking point. You can’t rationally have read a 400+ page report written with the cooperation of the President and then turn around and accuse him of obstruction. As Barr and other real lawyers have noted, the President is also not “anybody else.” The idea that you can be constrained in your ability to execute your constitutional powers based on the whim of a freakin temp employee is nothing short of bizarre.

And one can’t help but notice that for someone who has made a fetish of his love of the Constitution, he doesn’t seem concerned at all about how this whole ugly sideshow started. It is #OrangeManBad at its purest. He hates Trump therefore the Constitution, itself, demands the man’s removal.

The positive side is that no one really cares about Amash or what he thinks. If he votes for impeachment he’ll just be another one of the Democrats doing so.

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